Small Computing

Best Small Computers 2019 - Small Computers For Work, Gaming and Education | Small Computing.net

If you ever faced the need to buy a new laptop, then you probably can relate to the feeling of being utterly at loss, sinking in the vast sea of numerous options. Let’s be honest, nowadays there are tons of laptops available on the market suitable for almost every need, be it gaming, studying, working or all of the above. You are expected to find something decent in the ever-expanding ocean of specs and features. That can truly be overwhelming and mind-boggling. But before you call it quits, take a look at our list of the best small computers in 2019. We will highlight only the most important stuff and provide you with links to detailed reviews, in case you’d like to know more.

Best Small Laptop

1. MacBook Air 13 (2018)

MacBook Air 13

Our number one pick is, of course, the 13-inch MacBook Air as it is well-known for its portability paired with efficiency. It includes an 8th-generation quad-core Intel i5 processor that gives you sustained speeds up to 2.3 GHz and turbo-charged speeds up to 3.8 GHz. Also, there is 8Gb of RAM and you can choose between 128GB or 256GB SSD. The Retina display had significantly improved from the previous model, providing a 48% increase in color detail. The audio quality now offers twice the bass and 25% more volume.

If you’re worried about the security of your files, then the 2018 Air is the perfect choice for you as now it has Apple’s new Touch ID feature and holds the Apple T2 Security chip, making your personal information as safe as ever. This MacBook Air offers a 12-hour battery life and it weighs less than previous models. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive MacBook yet.

Pros

Cons

Detailed reviews:

laptopmag.com

theverge.com

techradar.com

Buy on Apple.com

2. DELL XPS 13

DELL XPS 13

The updated version of Dell XPS 13 may not be significantly bigger, but it had definitely made one of the best laptops to become better. The improved model has a powerful CPU, a versatile GPU and a vibrant in-plane switching (IPS) display. This is a laptop that can be great for work and for studying as it is lightweight and incredibly thin - it is indeed hard to find a slimmer laptop with the same level of performance. As for the battery life, the laptop can last about 8 hours if you are opting for the 4k touch-screen, while a 1080p display will give you 21 hours of battery charge.

The configurations include 128GB or 256GB SSD, 4GB - 8GB - 16GB RAM, 8th Generation Intel Core processor, which can be i3, i5 or i7. Also, in the new model the webcam is fitted in a still-small top bezel unlike its predecessor. Dell XPS 13 is not only powerful, but also classy and sleek with platinum silver, frost or rose gold exteriors available.

Pros

Cons

Detailed reviews:

techradar.com

notebookcheck.net

laptopmag.com

Buy on Dell.com

3. ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302

It is not just a laptop; thanks to its 360 degrees rotating hinges and a 12.5 inches LED touch-screen, it’s a 2-in-1! You can use it both as a laptop and a tablet or put it in a tent mode. It’s a perfect choice for wide range of activities: work, studying or watching your favorite TV show. On top of that ASUS Chromebook C302 is extremely lightweight and well-protected as it has a sleek aluminum metal body. This model offers Intel Core processor, which can be either m3 or m5, 4GB RAM and 64GB flash storage. Aside from Android apps for work and entertainment, you’ll get automatic updates and built-in anti-virus protection. Although, the average battery life is supposed to be 10 hours, some tests show that it lasts around 7 hours. For less than $500, it is a good value for money.

Pros

Cons

Detailed reviews:

techradar.com

ign.com

androidpolice.com

Buy on Amazon

Best for gaming

1. Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m

This is the most expensive laptop in our entire list, but if you are a big fan of gaming, then Alienware Area-51m is going to be the answer to all of your prayers. This model has a drastically different look than others from the brand. Instead of anodized aluminum, the majority of the Area-51m’s chassis is constructed from magnesium alloy. It is armed with a desktop Intel Core i9 processor and one of Nvidia’s superpowered RTX GPUs; this laptop will withstand any test you’ll put it through. There are two USB 3.1 ports, which means you can hook an external display or a hard-drive. Possible configurations are between a 32GB or 64GB RAM and 1TB or 2TB RAID, plus the 3.6-GHz Intel Core could be either i9 or i7. This is reported to be the most powerful and upgradeable gaming laptop on the market right now.

Pros

Cons

Detailed Reviews:

laptopmag.com

techradar.com

tomshardware.com

Buy on Amazon

2. ASUS ROG Strix Hero II

ASUS ROG Strix Hero II

If you are into games, but don’t happen to have a budget for Alienware Area-51m, take a look at the ASUS ROG Strix Hero II. This model provides plenty of room for gaming as it has the 5mm thin bezel around the 15.6-inch screen and you are sure to get an amazing visual experience with its 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. ASUS ROG Strix Hero II is powered an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive for storing a wide selection of your games. Operating smoothly with 16GB of RAM, the Strix Hero II can easily handle today’s toughest games without comprising in performance. It operates with 16GB RAM, which means it has all the power to handle the toughest games easily. The ROG HyperCool Pro thermal system allows to get most out of its high-performance GPU and CPU. Last, but not least, the colorfully backlit keyboard is perfect for gaming with a desktop-like layout and four hotkeys for total system control.

Pros

Cons

Detailed reviews:

laptopmag.com

notebookcheck.net

tomshardware.com

Buy on Amazon

3. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is built with the latest 7th-generation Intel Core processor with a maximum 3.8GHz Turbo Boost and 16GB DDR4 memory, providing accelerated boot-up and great loading speeds. The hard drive has 256GB SSD, but there’s an additional compartment to fit a second 2.5-inch storage drive. In addition, it contains a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM for lag-free processing power. The black keyboard complemented with the red backlighting is quite comfortable. The Helios features a seven-hour battery life. Unfortunately, sacrifices had to be made for pumping up so much power into the laptop and in this case it is the weight. The Acer Predator Helios 300 weighs solid six pounds.

Pros

Cons

Detailed Review:

techradar.com

notebookcheck.net

pcworld.com

Buy on Amazon

Best for office work

1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

This Acer Aspire model was clearly built for work, judging by its utilitarian features and the mix of value and performance. It features 8th-Generation Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB dual-channel memory, and a 1TB hard drive. The hardware is enough to satisfy the needs of an average customer, but you can easily upgrade the memory or hard drive by opening the easy-access compartment in the bottom of the laptop to replace the parts. The strategically placed 802.11ac featuring MU-MIMO technology wireless antenna will ensure a consistent wireless signal. The 15.6-inch screen offers full HD resolution. This model has a DVD drive, SD slot, and has port space for USB 3.0, 2.0, Type-C, as well as Ethernet and HDMI inputs. It weighs 5.27 pounds, which is rather heavy, however, thanks to its 13.5-hour battery life you won’t have to carry a charger with you.

Pros

Cons

Detailed Reviews:

laptopmag.com

pcworld.com

laptopunderbudget.com

Buy on Amazon

2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

This is an ultimate business-laptop, which is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i7-8650U Processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD providing a truly powerful performance. The X1 has Windows 8.1 Pro operating system, while those, whose work involves a lot of typing, will appreciate the backlit keyboard with a soft-touch deck and the responsive keys. One of the main advantages of the X1 is that it provides extra security for your personal data with the help of the Touch Sensor Fingerprint Reader and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) - a specialized chip designed to secure hardware. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the lightest 14-inch business Ultrabook on the market, weighing only 2.6 pounds. In addition, this laptop is constructed with satellite-grade carbon fiber, making it practically indestructible.

Pros

Cons

Detailed Reviews:

laptopmag.com

notebookcheck.net

Buy on Amazon

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

If you’re looking for a great 2-in-1, take a look at the light and versatile Surface Pro 6 with an 8th-gen quad-core processor. The model offers a wide variety of configurations. You can choose either 8GB or 16GB of RAM for a great speed, an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor depending on your power needs. As for the storage, there are several options - 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. The Surface Pro alone is basically a tablet, so in order to turn it into a laptop you’ll have to buy the Surface Pro Type Cover. There are a few other accessories to make your work more efficient, especially if you are a designer: a surface dial, a surface pen and a surface arc mouse. This model will get you more than 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. It’s ultra slim, lightweight and very stylish.

Pros

Cons

Detailed Reviews:

techradar.com

laptopmag.com

theguardian.com

Buy on Amazon

Best for students

1.Huawei MateBook X Pro

Huawei MateBook X Pro

This model features 8th gen processor with Nvidia GeForce feature and Intel UHD Graphics 620. You can choose between 8GB RAM with Intel Core i5 and 16GB RAM with Intel Core i7. For the first option SSD is 256GB, while for the second one it is 5512GB. One-touch power button with optimized BIOS makes the log-in fast and secure. Speaking of safety and privacy, the web cam, which is hidden in the keyboard, pops up only when you need it. At 0.57-inch thin and weighing just 2.93 pounds the Huawei MateBook X Pro is both light and portable. To sweeten the deal there is also a comfortable keyboard, great audio quality and nearly 9 hours of battery life. This laptop is an excellent choice for studying and entertainment!

Pros

Cons No slot for SD Card Webcam is not great * Quite pricey

Detailed Reviews:

techradar.com

notebookcheck.net

digitaltrends.com

Buy on Amazon

2.Acer Chromebook R 11

Acer Chromebook R 11

A student’s laptop should be able to handle different tasks and the convertible Acer Chromebook R 11 is up for the challenge. It features an Intel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core Processor 1.6GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.08GHz combined with 4GB of onboard memory and 32GB of internal storage. Almost every laptop user experienced crashes and data loss, but with this model you won’t have to worry about that at it contains a built-in virus protection, which updates automatically. This 360-degree 2-in-1 runs on Chrome OS, so you can download apps from the Google Play Store and use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to complete your studying. You also get 100GB of free storage on Google Drive for two years, which is a great bonus!

Pros

Cons

Detailed reviews:

laptopmag.com

techradar.com

notebookcheck.net

Buy on Amazon

3. HP Chromebook x2

HP Chromebook x2

In case Acer Chromebook R 11 does not meet your needs, here is another 2-in-1 option that runs on Chrome OS. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s good value for money. The configuration options are the following: the 12-inch model offers Intel Core m3-7Y30, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC flash memory, while the 14-inch version has latest Intel i3-8130U processor, 8GB RAM and 64GB of built-in memory. There is also a slot for a microSD card, if you need more storage. The backlit keyboard provides a comfortable typing experience even in dim locations. As it weighs 3.7 pounds, it’s not the most lightweight convertible, however, this versatile device will be of great help in both your studies and hobbies.

Pros

Cons

Detailed review:

laptopmag.com

pcworld.com

digitaltrends.com

Buy on Amazon

Which laptop should YOU choose?

Looking at the models, presented in our list, it’s safe to say that the best small computer is the latest MacBook Air as it meets a wide-range of requirements. It is great for work, studying, photo and video editing, etc. The runner-up is Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H, because it offers strong performance and affordability. Both students and workers will find this device very useful. When choosing a laptop, there are many aspects to be considered. The portability and the average battery life, in case you work remotely often; the specs have to fit your needs and the price has to meet your budget. So we hope that this list will help you find the perfect small computer.

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